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    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    Oh what a busy week and it is only Wednesday!!

    Actually, let's start with last week, since I haven't blogged about a few things from way back then. Last Thursday Mike and I along with our friend, Nate, went up to St. Paul for the R.E.M concert at the Excel Energy Center. Benjamin spent some time hanging out and making "special cake" with Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Bert.

    The concert was a fun experience. We had been getting some really bad weather reports all day, so we were not sure how the drive up there would be, but it turned out that it was mostly just rain and not much more. When we got to the concert the first opening band, The National, was playing so we decided to wander around a bit before heading up to our seats on the top level. After climbing what seemed like hundreds of stairs, we got up to the 200 level only to find it completely deserted. While walking around one of the center's employees caught up to us and told us that they were reissuing tickets in the lower levels because the concert had not sold as well as they had expected. We were going to get an upgrade! As it turns out, we were given new tickets in the "Treasure Island Club Level" - 2 sections below our original seats. We were pretty pumped! Not only were we closer to the stage, but the club level also has much better concessions. When we found our section, we noticed a small "bar-style" seating area at the back of the section where you could rest your drinks or food on the small bar and sit on bar stools. We found 3 open spots and made ourselves comfortable while waiting for someone to shoo us out of these good seats. No one ever said a word to us, so we were able to sit for the entire concert in these (in our minds) primo seats!

    The second opening act was to be Modest Mouse, which is a favorite of mine, even though I am really only familiar with one of their albums and a few of their hit songs. They were a pretty big disappointment though because they only played stuff off of their newest album and refused to play any of their well-known hits. Little did we know, but this was to be a recurring theme all night.

    R.E.M. took the stage later and played mostly new songs off of their Accelerate album and also a bunch of songs off of their older albums that never really received any radio play. To be fair, they did play a few big hits, especially during the encore such as Losing My Religion and Fall On Me. Michael Stipe was in great form and as always has this crystal clear voice that never sounds strained or off pitch. Obviously the band is getting a little stale, while still trying to attract new audiences, which is why the concert didn't sell very well. We had a great time though and somehow managed to drive back very late to get home at about 1 am.

    On Friday morning Benjamin had his 3 year annual checkup at his pediatrician, which went so well. I was very afraid that he would hate going to the doctor, but he actually exclaimed "That was fun!" as we were leaving, a very good sign. The doctor was very pleased with everything. He is completely average in height and weight and is excelling in his ability to do certain age-specific activities like drawing, speaking, counting, etc. Even his eczema seems to be under control. The doctor is always amazed at how well his skin looks because she can remember back to when he was just a tiny 3 month old covered head to toe with those horrible red rashes. Now he only gets a rash when he's spent a lot of time outside or when we are unable to give him his daily bath. He will have to live with eczema for his whole life, but by keeping up with lotions and baths it is manageable and that is really all we can hope for.

    Benjamin has been into making forts lately after I made one for him Friday afternoon. He and Daddy spent a lot of time in it when Mike got home from work. It was so cute!

    Speaking of Benjamin and his speaking abilities - I have to share 2 of my favorite things that have ever come out of his adorable little mouth. The first was said during a dinner discussion between Benjamin, Mike, me and my Dad. There was no hesitation whatsoever before Benjamin came back with his response.

    Mike: "Benjamin, where do big boys go potty?"
    Benjamin: "In the shower."
    We are in trouble.

    This second funny bit came right after Benjamin did one of his usual wacky performances like putting his spoon up his nose, speaking in tongues, or doing his very best zoo animal impersonation.

    Grandma Chris: "Benjamin, WHERE did you come from!?"
    Benjamin: "An island."
    Oh, my little rasta child.

    Our weekend was fairly low key. Mike went on his usual morning run Saturday and we all spent some time outside in between storms. On Sunday we shopped around for some new house numbers now that our siding project is complete. We found some that we liked and I hung them up in the rain just before Mom and Dad A. arrived. They spent Sunday night with us and on Monday Dad left early for a job interview. Benjamin and I were able to spend some nice time relaxing with Mom before she left to meet Dad for their walk-through at the new house. All went perfectly with the closings in both Illinois and Minnesota and as of yesterday morning, they are now officially residents of Minnesota! I spent all of yesterday (Tues) at the new house with them emptying boxes, enjoying the Lake Minnetonka views from their deck and getting acquainted with the neighborhood. They are so excited to finally be settled in and we can’t wait for our first overnight in our new rooms. We will be heading up there Friday for some fishing and bbq. Mike and I are running an interesting race this Saturday in St. Paul. We will be doing the 1st annual Lederhosenlauf 5k at the German American Institute. No, we will not be wearing our lederhosen! But they do promise a German breakfast – and BEER – following the race. Should be interesting!!